Celebrate a summer Christmas with us–with your own new Beefmaster Premium 6 BBQ!

Prove to your Boss that you’re the Best Demand Forecaster in the NEM for summer 2012-13

Earn bragging rights, by out-scoring your colleagues

It’s that time of year again, when Christmas cards arrive – and the mere fact that you’re around to read them reminds you that you’re one of the lucky ones – unlike those poor souls taking a break at this time:

Just in recent days we’ve spoken with people who are jetting off for skiing in Japan (I’m envious, Matthew!) or reef diving up off PNG (very exiting, Kate) or even just heading for some camping on an island beach (for a well-earned break, Derrick).

Ok, ok – so taking a holiday might be a fair bit of fun. If you’re not with them, it’s enough to make you feel glum!

It can surely make you feel glum, receiving Christmas cards from the lucky ones who've headed off for a Christmas away

For those of us who are stuck in the office over the next week and a bit (until COB Monday 31st December) we’re re-opening our popular Christmas Competition, now in its 7th year (and with a new twist), to enable you earn bragging rights, by out-scoring your holiday-loving colleagues!

The Context of the Competition (why we want Your Name up in lights)

Even more than before, the ability to accurately forecast what the peak demand is going to be has the potential to generate significant benefits to your organisation – and the broader industry as a whole.

Demand growth began flattening around 2006, and has been declining in more recent times – for a number of reasons, summarised here.

This increased uncertainty about where demand is headed has meant a range of different things across the market, including:
1)  Generation development companies have scaled back their ambitions, placed projects on hold, and downsized their development teams (which has had flow-on effects across the industry);
2)  Network companies have faced increasing scrutiny of network expansion plans; and
3)  AEMO has centralised the demand forecasting function feeding into the SOO and other documents.

That’s why we want to have your name up in lights!

The Prize(s)

For a number of years, we have given away a BBQ (and not just any old BBQ, either).

Especially given that we’ve started down the path of developing GasWatch™ as our dashboard for the gas market, along the lines of NEM-Watch in the electricity market, the delivery of a gas-fired BBQ is even more appropriate.  Plus in a veeeeeeeeeeeeeery small way, perhaps we’ve been helping to reduce electricity demand!

Given its popularity as a prize, we are keen to continue, and have this year selected this beauty here as the prize:


It’s a “Premium Beefmaster 4 Burner BBQ on Cart with Side Burner” as described here at Barbeques Galore.

The Twist

Following from our Competition last year, we received some suggestions from people who saw that the Ultimate Measure of Your Skill as a forecaster would be to allow each forecaster only one entry.

Last year we enabled people to enter multiple times over the Christmas period, and published all entries (for the first time).  There was nothing like a little feedback process to reinforce the competitive tension to get the brain juices flowing!

Hence, we’re going to incorporate both challenges:

Challenge #1 – Your first entry is for the BBQ

Your first entry (only) will be the one measured against all the others received over the period in awarding the prize as the Best Demand Forecaster in the NEM.

As a prize, we’ll give you the wonderful BBQ (shown above). We’ll also reserve the right to come visiting, during the autumn period, with an eski of beer and snags to celebrate.

Challenge #2 – Your best entry is for some Fancy Movie Tickets

You can enter multiple times in this competition (subject to the terms in the fine print below).

Your best entry (which may not be your first) will be compared against all others and the best entry per Region will be awarded some tickets to see a movie in Five Star Comfort at their favourite cinema near them.

Challenge #3 – Your best move will get you twice the value for the same low price

To best watch the NEM this summer, we encourage you to get started with NEM-Watch.  The current NEM-Wide Demand can be seen in NEM-Watch can be seen in two places, as shown below (click on the image for a larger view:

A view of NEM-Watch from 20th December, which coincidentally shows a spike in price at 15:00 following a trip at Tarong North

For any new clients who sign up before 1st January 2013 for a 1-year licence to NEM-Watch, we’ll happily add on another year at no added charge.

To Enter

Email us (summer@global-roam.com) with your Forecast* for what the peak NEM-Wide Demand will be this summer to be considered in the running for the BBQ (and consolation prizes)  and look forward to the first snags in autumn tasting so much sweeter on your GLOBAL-ROAM delivered BBQ:


* Forecast, or W.A.G!

You can track entries (to make your entry tomorrow even better) at the special Competition Website here.

Suggested Reading

On WattClarity, you might find the following context useful in determining your entry.

1)  Over-arching this competition, and all forecasts for demand (which underlie a number of investment planning decisions), is the question about where demand is headed into the future.  To answer that question, one must first understand how demand has been changing in the NEM.

2)  Our prior year competition entries will also factor into your estimate for this summer:

Summer was lacklustre in 2011-12, but the competition still sparkled, and Aden Fanning (of InterGen) was awarded the BBQ and the kudos for a 12 month period.

Summer 2010-11 competition winner – Richard Hickling (of AEMO) – bid <200MW (just 0.6%) higher than the actual demand peak.

Winter 2009 competition winner – Andrea Prouse (of EnergyAustralia – i.e. the original company!) – was 577MW from the mark in a winter that failed to spark.

Summer’s peak in demand in summer 2008-09 , when Thao Doan (of Stanwell) was a whopping 900MW below the peak in a summer that smashed the previous record.

Summer’s peak in demand in summer 2006-07 , when David Turnour (of Origin) was about 100MW from the mark (0.3%)

Summer’s peak in demand in summer 2005-06 , when Trevor Persal (of Ergon) practically nailed it, with an excellent entry!

3)  Especially if you’re keen on getting your hands on the other prizes (noted below), or you’re the patient, considered type of analyst, you might like to keep an eye on what the other entrants have submitted on this special Competition Website.

The Fine Print
(a.k.a. suggested reading for those who are really keen!)

1) Entry is open to anyone who consumes electricity in the NEM (that’s pretty broad), except for employees, shareholders and other general hangers-on of GLOBAL-ROAM Pty Ltd:

1a)  We will be particularly supportive of employees in organisations that are clients of ours (beats me what this means, practically – we just really want you to win!)

1b)  We reserve the right to “lose” entries from companies we deem as competitors to us (can’t have them enjoying a new BBQ on us, can we!)

2)  To be a valid entry:

2a)  Your entry must be received on or between Friday the 21st December 2012 and Monday 31st of January 2013.

2b)  Your entries must be emailed to summer@global-roam.com.

2c)  Your entry must contain your estimate of the peak NEM-Wide Demand this summer (for clarity, this year we’re sticking with defining “Summer” as the period 1st December 2012 to 28th February 2013).

2d)  Your entry must be from a valid email address, and contain your phone number (on which we can contact you to arrange for delivery).

2d)  If you feel exceptionally lucky (or think you’re a good forecaster) you can also tell us where to have the BBQ (or consolation prizes) delivered.  You don’t need to tell us which it is (i.e. if you’re just lucky, or if you think you are an exceptional forecaster)!

3)  The winner will be judged differently in each of the three prize pools:

It will be your first entry (only) that will be accepted in the competition for the BBQ.  Your entry needs to be closest to the peak NEM-Wide demand to win.

CONSOLATION PRIZES (the Movie Tickets)
If your first entry is not sufficient to win the BBQ, you can still be in with a chance to win. The first entry we receive each day the competition is open will be assessed against all others in the second prize pool, and the closest to the mark in each of the five NEM regions will be awarded movie vouchers (for Gold Class at Event, La Premiere at Hoyts or a cinema of your choice – to the value of $150).

THE BEST PRIZE (or at least we think so)
Surpassing the value of either of the above prizes, we will grant a second year’s licence (at no charge) for any new client who signs up for a 1-year licence of a model of NEM-Watch within the period we’re accepting entries.

4)  For those who really do need the details, we calculate this on AEMO’s InfoServer as follows:

select top 1 * from (SELECT SUM(TotalDemand) as Demand, SettlementDate
from DispatchRegionSum
GROUP BY SettlementDate)q
order by Demand desc

5)  The winner will be notified directly soon after the end of Summer, and the winner’s name will also be published on the WattClarity ® site .

Delivery of the BBQ will be organised to a location within the standard delivery area of an Australian Barbeques Galore store. If the store in your delivery area is out of that particular stock, we’ll arrange a suitable, similar, model for you – at around the same price.

6)  The decision of the judges (global-roam Pty Ltd) is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

You could try to bribe them, but that won’t work (though they might be able to save up to have their own holiday next summer).

You could try to get in their “good books” by purchasing lots of NEM-Watch (or by referring NEM-Watch to those poor unfortunate souls who don’t yet have their own copies) – but, whilst that would make them happy, it will not get you closer to being declared the winner (though you will have a pretty good view of what the demand is, all summer!)

So sharpen your pencils, polish your calculators and crank another can of your favourite sugar-laced, caffeine-filled and stimulant-pumped “energy” drink.

If your colleagues have abandoned you in preference for some R&R in some exotic destination, and your *&%$  Boss has locked you in so you can’t also escape, why not devote a little brain space to solving the multi-billion dollar puzzle of “what’s the peak demand going to be across the NEM this summer?”.

Happy Christmas, from all of us at GLOBAL-ROAM!

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

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